Swine flu rant

This is a quick rant - I need to work on a longer post about the public's perception of diseases, vaccine safety and science, but I don't have time at the moment.  But this drives me nuts. 

Long story short - a family member most likely had the "dreaded" swine flu last week.  No problems, she's fine this week.  But another family member was incredibly worried, since "1 in 6 people die of it".

I heard that comment in passing, and it made me think for a moment, but the topic veered to other things, and I didn't get back to it right away.  Later on though, I happened to come across an internet news article about it.

Indeed, the death rate is 1 in 6.  For people sick enough to be admitted to ICU.  Not those admitted to the hospital in total, but the subset who are sick enough to be in need of intensive care.  The article actually made this quite clear if it was read, but skimming it would lead one to a false conclusion. 

And that drives me 'round the bend.  Statistics are generally so mangled by the media, and then further mangled by the public, that it's no wonder that we are in the midst of swine flu hysteria.  It's no wonder that there are many people how believe that vaccines are useless, or even worse, dangerous.  Who believe that "nature" is all that's needed to have healthy people (and canines).  And trying to debate with these people is worse that trying to push string.  Anything you say is dismissed, since you are obviously close-minded, not a critical thinker, or worse, university educated!!!!  GASP!  Okay, enough for now.  But I'll be back...


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